Elisa Gahng is the Managing Attorney at KIND’s New York office. Prior to joining KIND in July 2017, Ms. Gahng served as the Assistant General Counsel at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), where she oversaw much of the office’s federal immigration law and policy docket, with an emphasis on increasing access to justice to particularly vulnerable immigrant populations in New York City including refugees, asylees, DACA-holders, individuals with Temporary Protected Status, and immigrant victims of crime. Prior to MOIA, Ms. Gahng served as a Staff Attorney at the MinKwon Center for Community Action, where she represented individuals before the immigration court and USCIS. Her previous experience includes work at the Women’s Refugee Commission, the International Organization of Migration, and the U.S. Department of Justice Headquarters Immigration Court. Ms. Gahng received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center and her BA from the University of California, Berkeley.
Andrea Acosta is a paralegal at KIND’s New York field office. Prior to joining KIND, worked in the Children’s Legal Program at Americans for Immigrants Justice in Miami, FL. There, she worked with detained minors in permanent and emergency shelters. Andrea became interested in working with unaccompanied minors after interning at the Organization of American States, where she was able to attend conferences that dealt directly with these issues. She graduated from Florida International University in Miami, FL in 2014 with a BA in International Relations and a minor in French. Andrea was born in Venezuela but immigrated to the US at the age of twelve, so she understands the difficulties of moving to a new country.
Josie Cardoso-Rojo is an immigration attorney who has focused on all aspects of removal/deportation defense with an emphasis on asylum law. Prior to joining KIND, she was a staff attorney at Human Rights First, where she mentored over 200 cases involving asylum, adjustment of status, TPS, cancellation of removal, and SIJS. Before Human Rights First, she was a solo practicing attorney focusing on removal defense, as well as family-based and employment-based immigration. She graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2014, and is licensed to practice in New York, New Jersey, and Florida. Josie currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with her four yorkies.
Bio coming soon.
Paralegal - Detained Program
Samantha Coss graduated from Pitzer College in May of 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Intercultural Studies and Spanish. Coss completed two theses in partial fulfillment of both majors, including a blog written in Spanish exploring the intersection of Gender and Immigration and a critique on the NGO which earned her Honors in International Intercultural Studies. Coss gained experience in Immigration advocacy while interning with two Day Labor Centers in Seattle, WA and Pomona, CA, where her duties included developing a resource center and teaching naturalization classes for community members. As Samantha launches a career in social justice and human rights, she is thrilled to join the KIND Detained team as a Paralegal.
Senior Paralegal-Detained Team
Bio coming soon.
Paralegal – Detained Program
Clare was born and raised in Oakland, California. She attended Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, where she studied English and International Studies. For her senior thesis, she examined the responses of the United States’ government to large scale influxes of immigrants seeking protection within its borders. After graduation, she moved to Austin, Texas for two years and worked at Posada Esperanza of Casa Marianella, a homeless shelter dedicated to providing a safe space and supportive services to immigrant women and children. Upon moving back to New York City, Clare worked as a Legal Assistant at Her Justice, an organization offering free legal services to low income women in the areas of family, matrimonial, and immigration law. Clare is excited to be at KIND as a Paralegal in the Detained Program to continue to expand her knowledge of the immigration system so she can better serve as an advocate for immigrants.
Bio coming soon.
Ariel Gould is a Senior Attorney at KIND. She joined the KIND team in December 2020. Before coming to KIND, she represented clients in all aspects of humanitarian and family-based immigration, including asylum, SIJS, and removal defense. Ariel came to immigration via international human rights, including research in the US and field work in Argentina. Ariel received her JD from George Washington University Law School, a Masters in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs, and her BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from UNC Chapel Hill. She is licensed in California and New York.
Mikaela Harris is a Staff Attorney at KIND where she both advises pro bono attorneys seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, asylum, and other forms of relief for their child clients and represents child clients directly. Formerly, Mikaela worked in the Immigration Intervention Project at Sanctuary for Families (SFF) where she screened victims of sexual and gender-based violence for immigration benefits. At SFF, Mikaela represented clients applying for affirmative immigration benefits such as U Visas, VAWA petitions, T Visas, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and asylum as well as in removal proceedings before the Executive Office of Immigration Review. Mikaela speaks both French and Spanish, and is a graduate of Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), Georgetown University Law Center, and the University of Florida, summa cum laude. She is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia.
Senior Paralegal - Detained Program
Bio coming soon.
Program Coordinator - Detained Program
Bio coming soon.
Molly Kammien is a Staff Attorney at KIND’s New York office. Prior to joining KIND, Ms. Kammien worked as a litigation associate at Seward & Kissel LLP and provided pro bono representation to clients seeking asylum, U Visas, VAWA petitions, and Battered Spouse Waivers. Ms. Kammien also interned as a Legal Fellow at Refugee Rights Turkey in Istanbul and with the Bronx Defenders’ Immigration Defense team. She received her JD from Brooklyn Law School and her BA from Boston College. Ms. Kammien is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.
Zoe Kaplan is the newest addition to the KIND Detained Team. Zoe is a 2020 graduate from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Latin American Studies and a minor in Hispanic Studies. Zoe has dedicated much of their education and activism to supporting immigrant and refugee rights. They have helped develop programs in collaboration with Oberlin-area nonprofits to provide English and Citizenship classes to the surrounding Latinx population. Zoe has also been involved in various solidarity projects with Mexican and Guatemalan indigenous communities. Living and learning in the U.S. - Mexico borderlands while working at Casa Alitas migrant shelter in Summer 2019 solidified Zoe's commitment to language and migrant justice. Zoe has had previous experience as a Paralegal through interning with Chicago's National Immigrant Justice Center's LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative in Summer 2020.
Supervising Attorney-Detained Program
Bio coming soon.
Nina McKenna is a Senior Paralegal at KIND’s New York field office. Prior to joining KIND, Nina interned with UNHCR in Washington D.C. There, she operated UNHCR’s Detention Hotline and provided information about the U.S. asylum process to detained asylum seekers all over the country. Nina also worked briefly as a Legal Assistant at Tribune Media Company in Chicago, IL. She graduated from McGill University in Montreal in 2017 with a BA in Political Science and International Development. She discovered her love for working with kids during a summer internship with UNICEF in Tunis, Tunisia where she worked with the Tunisian Ministry of Education to implement a Life Skills program in Tunisian public schools. Nina grew up in Chicago, IL with a French mother and Irish father, and she still remembers attending their naturalization ceremony when she was just 6 years old. She hopes to pursue a law degree in the future.
Staff Attorney – Detained
Bio coming soon.
Paralegal - Detained Program
Cinderelle Mensah is a paralegal at KIND’s New York office. She has always loved working with immigrant and minority populations. Prior to joining KIND, she provided legal information and legal orientation to immigrants and unaccompanied minors through the New York State Immigration Hotline and Catholic Charities Community Service’s Immigration department. She has also completed paralegal internships with African Services Committee and Her Justice, two organizations that provide access to vulnerable African and Hispanic populations. The latter has allowed her to understand the struggles minority women who face domestic violence encounter in a country they know little of- and who in return knows little about them. The former has given her the opportunity to inform, guide and service vulnerable members of the African population seeking asylum in the United States. She graduated from John Jay Criminal Justice with a Bachelors Degree in Justice Studies and a minor in Paralegal Studies. She currently resides in East Elmhurst, NY and has a roommate for a cat. Ms. Mensah hopes she can become an attorney one day to participate in the emancipation of children and women rights in West Africa.
Kylie Mignat is a Senior Paralegal at KIND’s New York field office. She attended the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where she concentrated on Latin American history, politics, and immigration. During her senior year, Kylie worked with a professor to draft expert witness reports for Central American asylum seekers and conducted research which examined the effects of media framing of undocumented immigrants on public support for American immigration policies. Kylie graduated with a BS in International Studies as well as BAs in German Cultural Studies and Hispanic Studies in 2018. Prior to joining KIND in January 2019, Kylie worked as a Bilingual Paralegal Advocate at My Sisters’ Place in White Plains, where she assisted survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking in immigration and family law matters. In addition to her position at KIND, Kylie is currently pursuing an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, where she intends to focus her research on Guatemalan immigrants.
Veronica Montalvo is a Staff Attorney in KIND’s New York Office. Prior to joining KIND, Veronica was an associate at Kelley Drye & Warren, where her practice focused on commercial and complex civil litigation. As an associate, Veronica provided pro bono representation to clients in a variety of immigration matters, including asylum cases, VAWA and SIJS petitions, and U-visas. Veronica completed her undergraduate studies at Columbia University in 2009 and graduated from Columbia Law School in 2016. During law school, she represented unaccompanied minors in their asylum and SIJS claims as a member of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. She is admitted to practice in New York.
Senior Attorney - Detained Program
Emily Norman is a Senior Attorney at KIND where she advises pro bono attorneys seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Asylum, and other forms of relief for their child clients. Previously, Emily worked for the Institute for Women in Migration (IMUMI), a nonprofit organization in Mexico City providing legal services to deported and returned migrant women and their children. At IMUMI, Emily represented clients applying for U Visas and VAWA petitions. She also assisted with transnational custody cases due to family separation after deportation. Before becoming an attorney, Emily taught middle school history in the Bronx. Emily is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University and the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. She is a member of the Massachusetts bar and is fluent in Spanish.
Argelia Tlatelpa Perez
Social Services Coordinator – Detained Program
Bio coming soon.
Diana Ricaurte is a Staff Attorney at KIND’s New York Office. Before joining KIND, Diana was an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow (IJC) placed in CARECEN. As an IJC fellow, Diana represented families and UC’s in removal proceedings living on Long Island. Diana predominantly worked with single mothers and their children seeking asylum in the United States along with UC’s eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Diana also served as a Staff Attorney at The Door working with Detained Youth in ORR custody. Diana received her JD from St. John’s University School of Law and her BA from SUNY Binghamton. Diana is admitted to practice law in New York.
Hunton Andrews Kurth Fellow
Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney
Janna Royer is a Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney at KIND ‘s New York office. Prior to joining KIND in October 2019, Janna was a Staff Attorney for the Immigrant Child and Family Rights Project at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. At the Young Center, Janna served as a child advocate for detained migrant children in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Prior to the Young Center, Janna conducted research in human trafficking while pursuing her LL.M. Janna is a graduate of American University Washington College of Law, where she obtained her Juris Doctor and her LL.M in International Legal Studies with specializations in International Human Rights Law and Gender & International Law.
Hunton Andrews Kurth Fellow
As the Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP Fellow, Pradine divides her time between clients from KIND’s New York Office and the Legal Aid Society in New York City. Her practice focuses exclusively on pro bono immigration matters, which sometimes includes a family court practice. Pradine also provides in-house support to law firm associates with pro bono cases of their own, or who are interested in working on discrete parts of cases. Prior to joining the firm, Pradine served as an agency attorney for the New York City Police Department, where she rewrote the Department’s U certification policy to drastically minimize the backlog of requests and increase efficiency of decision-making. The policy also includes a formal process to appeal denials—one of the first in the country. Previously, Pradine served as a senior program associate for the Vera Institute of Justice where she co-authored two national guides on policing in communities that have been historically marginalized by police or segments of society. Pradine lives in Brooklyn and enjoys travelling and poetry.
Martin was first exposed to immigration law during law school as part of his 2L summer internship for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of the Chief Counsel, in San Diego, California. After passing the bar, he pursued a fellowship for a non-profit legal service in New York City that provides representation for low-income immigrant children as well as training and seminars for attorneys fulfilling their pro bono and CLE requirements. Among many forms of relief, Martin is proficient in asylum, VAWA and SIJS self-petitions, employment-based petitions (Hs, Ls, Os, and TN), cancellation of removal, stay of removal, requests for prosecutorial discretion and parole, as well as adjustment of status (green card) applications. He completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia University in 2009 and graduated from Fordham University School of Law in 2013. Martin is originally from Los Angeles and currently resides in Brooklyn.
Staff Attorney – Detained Program
Anupama is a passionate human rights advocate focusing her work on and prevention of gender-based violence and vulnerable immigrant communities. Prior to coming to KIND, Ms. Selvam worked as Staff Attorney at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, where she served as child advocate for detained immigrant children in the New York City area. During her law school tenure, she worked as a student attorney for her school’s International Human Rights Law Clinic where she represented clients in removal proceedings. Prior to law school, Ms. Selvam provided legal research for Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, a rape crisis center based in Johannesburg, South Africa and legal advocacy for survivors of sexual violence at Resilience (formerly Rape Victim Advocates), Chicago’s largest rape crisis center. Her previous experience includes work at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law on civil cases seeking restitution for victims of the Holocaust, Vital Voices Global Partnership, and the National Immigration Women’s Advocacy Project. Currently, Ms. Selvam serves as co-Chair of the Immigration Law Committee for the Women’s Bar Association of New York. Ms. Selvam holds a JD from American University Washington College of Law, an MA from the American University School of International Service, and BSc from Georgetown University.
Interim Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney
Gregory Smith is an experienced civil litigation attorney who has provided pro bono representation throughout his career to asylum clients from the Middle East, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. He recently served as visiting clinical professor at Cardozo Law School’s human rights clinic, where he co-taught a seminar on human rights and refugee law and practice and supervised student teams in their representation of the clinic’s asylum clients.